23 years ago today I married my best friend. I don’t think he actually was my “best” friend then. He was a great guy with quick wit and silly sense of humor. And yeah, he was pretty damn hot. Sure, he left his clothes where he dropped them, never rinsed dishes he left in the sink and would wait until he literally had nothing to wear before thinking about doing laundry, but I didn’t mind. We’d been together for over five years by then. I figured we’d moved past most of the silly annoyances newlyweds discover about their mates after marriage. So he didn’t replace the cap on the toothpaste… ever. So what? We were young and in love. Wasn’t that all that mattered?
Close to three decades later, my experience is there may be more to marriage than love. Love is the most important factor for sure, but respect, honesty and friendship matter quite a bit too. Celebrating the joyous occasions in life, like weddings, births, new jobs, travel and adventure are so much more fulfilling when sharing them with someone you love. However, the true test comes when you’re battling rough patches, like the death of a parent, financial difficulties or school bullies who don’t get your quirky child. This is when you truly appreciate the gift of a friend who will always have your back. Someone who makes you smile when you want to cry. Someone who gets your crazy side and thinks it’s kind of cool. Someone who still wants to hold your hand and dream up new adventures… after the college tuition is paid.
My husband is much more particular nowadays about messes than he was when he met, but he still occasionally leaves the cap off the toothpaste. The truth is, I don’t notice the little things so much anymore. Age and perspective has given me a modicum of wisdom to be endlessly grateful I married someone who makes me laugh everyday and reminds me not to sweat the small stuff. Life can suck at times, but when you’ve got your best friend at your side, chances are good you’ll be just fine.
Happy Anniversary to the best man, best father and best friend I know.
“How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of being and ideal grace.
I love thee to the level of every day’s
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for right.
I love thee purely, as they turn from praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints. I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life; and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.”
― Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Sonnets from the Portuguese